Report: Deutsche Post to Offer Mail Service in Japan

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Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal/transport services company, plans to start an international mail service in Japan this autumn ahead of the privatization of the country's postal operations, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported.

According to the report, Deutsche Post will handle pamphlets, catalogs and other direct mail from Japanese companies mainly in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya and send them worldwide.

Most of the work will be outsourced to affiliate DHL Japan Inc., but the service will be offered under the Deutsche Post brand. DHL Japan operates 29 mail-collection points across that country. To deliver mail overseas, Deutsche Post will use the distribution networks that DHL has in 230 countries and those of other companies with which the German firm has alliances.

Deutsche Post aims to begin the service as early as October.

Japan's Postal Services Agency will transform into a state-run public corporation and let private firms enter the mail delivery business beginning April 1, 2003. The new postal corporation will be required to run on its own earnings without tapping the national treasury, similar to the U.S. Postal Service.

The new public corporation is expected to face immediate competition from private companies in the international business.

Since the Deutsche Post group already operates a fleet of airplanes, the Japanese service would require little additional cost, the newspaper said. The company does not need ministry approval for its plans as it will not handle ordinary letters, the newspaper said.

Last week, Deutsche Post also expressed interest in entering the British postal market.

Meanwhile, another report Aug. 12 said United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp. are uniting forces for a new attack against Deutsche Post. The report said both companies asked the U.S. Department of Transportation last week to reopen a probe of the ownership structure of the U.S. airline operations of DHL Worldwide Express.

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